CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CJ 450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.


SP 2012 HO


Plumb, Greg


Professor of Criminal Justice


B.A. in History & Economics from University of Missouri – Columbia
J.D. from University of Missouri – Columbia

Office Location


Office Hours

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 16 – May 4, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

8:45 - 10:00 AM


EN105, EN106, passing the WCT and senior standing

Credit Hours


There will be no textbook for this course.  We will be using online journals as our reading material.

Additional Resources:
Additional resources will be available on the course website.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice: This capstone course addresses current issues and trends in criminal justice with emphasis on group discussion. Each student will be required to prepare, submit and defend a senior thesis. Successful completion of the thesis is mandatory. This course will satisfy the EN 306 requirement for Criminal Justice majors. Prerequisites: EN105, EN 106, passing the WCT and senior standing 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

Professor Plumb's educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on the interactive.  Because this is a seminar, interaction with other students in the class through class presentations, class discussion, group work, as well as completion of the senior thesis and the course final examination will be used.  Students will also discuss their individual thesis before the class, CJ department faculty, and outside professionals.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the ethical and value questions in the criminal justice system.
  2. Criticize factual situations, applying this knowledge.
  3. Improve the ability to effectively gather, evaluate, and communicate information (in both written and oral forms), including the use of the Internet for communication and research.
  4. Design and construct the research, writing and defense of a thesis.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

A variety of methods will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course.  In addition to work on the senior thesis, students will be assessed on their class participation, group work, and final examination.  See “Grading” below for greater specificity.


Students will be evaluated on the total number of points each student earns as compared to the greatest amount of points that may be earned in each class activity.

In determining the number of points assigned to an activity, the major factors will be the following questions:

  • Was the work completed?
  • Was the work completed correctly?
  • Was the work completed on time?

All assignments are due in the eCompanion course dropbox at the beginning of the class period they are due. Course grades are determined on the following allocation of points:

  • Participation                     150
  • Journal presentations        100
  • Group work                     150
  • Thesis                              400
  • Thesis defense                   50
  • Final Examination             150
  • Total                             1,000

Point accumulation for grades:

  • 900 - 1000 points - A
  • 800 - 899 points   - B
  • 700 - 799 points   - C
  • 600 - 699 points   - D
  • 0 - 599 points       - F


Late Submission of Course Materials:

For each class period an assignment is late, points will be deducted.  No course materials will be accepted after the last class meeting in the last week of classes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Attend class and be prompt.  Class attendance is part of class participation, which is a portion of your grade.  Roll will be checked at the beginning of each class period.  Since tardy entry to a class disrupts the class, your lateness for class will receive a reduction in points.

2. Due to abuses by students in past semesters, there will be no excused absences.  You are either present or absent.  To partially make up for an absence, you must submit to the instructor by the beginning of the next class meeting you attend, an essay of one to two pages in length, summarizing the assigned reading for the class period missed.  The essay must be submitted by e-mail with the essay as an attachment.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE UP ANYTHING MISSED IN CLASS.

3. Be prepared for class.  This means that you have read the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them.  This is a senior capstone course, and the expectation is that you will function at that level.  This course will consist of class discussion, small group discussion, group work, and individual reporting to the class.  You are expected to take part in the discussions and group work.  Your in-class participation is another portion of your grade.  Plan to be called on individually in class to discuss the reading material assigned.

4. Journals.  Each student will be required to find two journal articles for the entire class to read and discuss.  One of the two articles will be from the student's individual research on his/her thesis.  The other will be for a topic assigned by the instructor.

5. Final Examination.  There will be a final examination in this course.

6. Thesis.  Each student will complete and defend an undergraduate thesis.  The specifics of this requirement and the rubric for scoring this requirement will be developed the first class meeting.

7. Group Work.  There will several group projects in this course.  The specifics of this requirement and the rubric for scoring this requirement will be developed the first class meeting.

8. Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



General Topic

Thesis Topic



Jan 17 & 19

Introduction & Establishing specific weekly topics & course journal reading assignments


Submit journal from own research


Jan 24 & 26

Causes of Crime

Writing the hypothesis

Submit hypothesis


Jan 31 & Feb 2


Writing the abstract

Submit abstract


Feb 7 & 9


Literature review

Submit literature review


Feb 14 & 16


Research methodology

Submit research methodology


Feb 21 & 23


Gathering data


Feb 28 & Mar 1

Therapeutic Courts

Recording data


Mar 6 & 8

Mid-Course Review

Analyzing data

Spring Recess

Mar 13 & 15



Mar 20 & 22

Probation & Community Corrections

Writing about the data


Mar 27 & 29

Probation & Community Corrections

Organizing the thesis

Submit Thesis outline


Apr 3 & 5

Juvenile Corrections

First draft

Submit first draft


Apr 10 & 12


Second draft

Submit second draft


Apr 17 & 19



Edit draft


Apr 24 & 26

Post Incarceration

Final paper

Submit final thesis


May 1 & 3

Course Review


Defend thesis

Finals Week

Thu, May 10

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:



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Last Updated:12/15/2011 11:33:06 AM